Would an android daydream in a lecture?

I’ve only recently started trully studying philosophy, and have been posed the question: Would an android daydream during a lecture? I was hoping you could point me in the direction of some relevant theorists I can look into.

What do you mean by android? And if the android has a robotic brain what is it programed for?

Both answers are open to whatever info I can find to interpret it!

I guess it really depends on how interesting the android found the subject. :smiley:

On a serious note, it makes me think that - isn’t it the goal of the lecturer to make all students daydream? … I mean, if the lecturer is good he will make the students daydream about the subject he is talking about, making them visualise and get lost in his words, experiencing what he is talking about in their minds, so that the students not only hear his words, they also share/understand his thoughts. On the otherhand, if the lecturer fails to capture the students imagination their minds may well wander onto other thoughts that they find more interesting, ie have a “daydream” in the usual sense of the word.

Your question made me realise that daydreaming is an essential part of being conscious, for we would be nothing more than data storing robots if all we did was to hear the lecturer’s words and store them. It is the day-dreaming (imagination) part of our process that enables us to “play out” the data in our minds so that we can make sense of it and truly understand it (as apposed to merley being able to store and retrieve it.)

Well there’s some of my thoughts that the question triggered! Not sure it will help you though, I guess the only possible straight(?) answer to your question would be “depends on the android.” (sorry) are we organic androids ourselves? Or are we just mindless robots? My personal feeling is that some of us are mindless robots, and some of us are conscious robots! (and many various degrees in between) :wink:


Thank you for your reply.

Your thoughts regarding daydream as a form of learning is something I had not previously considered, although the extent to which daydreaming is a quintessential part of consicousness is another intrigueing subject I have been looking into.

I think that aksewd was right to say that a student should daydream to process the new information they are receiving. What is interesting is akewd mentions we would be nothing more than data storing robots if all we did was process information. What other than processing information does your mind do?

I believe daydreams and dreaming are simply the brains way of storing information. Your brain needs to store information in a logical and easily accessible format (just like a computer) and doing this by linking the information with other recognizable information makes this process easier, both in terms of storing and retrieving the information.

It is much easier to remember a person by visualizing or using one of your senses (eg sound of their voice). How would you remember someone without using one of your senses? I think its impossible.

So if daydreaming in the simplest form is the process of storing and retrieving data, then the answer to you question is - YES, an android would daydream.

Hope this makes sense.

Well I did say that some of us are more conscious than others. Maybe you are just a data processing machine, but I hope that I am more than that. I believe all humans do the basic “brain” functions, but some people are a lot more conscious than others. Less robotic, more… erm… alive. … feeling, reflective.

My TV Video stores data, and it can play it back. (when it’s told to)
My computer stores data. It can retrieve data (when it is told to)

But is my computer GLAD it’s alive? Does it even know it’s alive? It’s processing data like our brains do - but is it reflecting on what it’s doing? Does my computer get bored? fed up? happy? sad? does it feel love? Does it get lonely? Does it get scared when I reach for the off button?

You may be nothing more than a glorified calculator, but I hope (“hope” - there’s another one) that I am more than that. I DESIRE to be more than that. I dream, I feel, I know I am alive. I am grateful for my existence. I doubt my PC is.

I will also say this: I do accept my body is a machine, a robot made from organic material. My body IS an android, but I believe my consciousness (the I that knows itself) is not, and I believe the consciousness is not a product of the body, but the body is a product of consciousness. If an android was in a lecture it would not dream - UNLESS it had some kind of consciousness “link-up”…

That’s just what I think. :stuck_out_tongue:


True askwed, but isn’t that beside the point of the question. An android may not feel love or affection - but if dreaming is the process of storing information what would be the difference from an android dreaming to a human dreaming.

You have taken this onto a whole new level. You could say that if love is a chemical reaction in the body, then would and android get all excited when he has a power surge :smiley:

Well I wouldn’t say i have taken things to a new level, I think the whole reason the question was set for the student was because they knew it would lead to many deep levels of thinking (possibly the deepest). Mine is just one line of thought. My thoughts.

I don’t think dreaming is the process of storing information, I think the dreaming - imagination - part is the part that makes us MORE than data storing robots, it is the bit where we reflect upon the data, sort of “experience” it, understand the thinking behind it and how it fits into the our personal picture of the universe.

(I think “lust” would have been a better example than love, as i don’t think most of us humans really know what love truly is.)

anyway, regarding your point, I know what you are saying… but I still don’t think an android having a power surge would “feel” anything. Maybe the android would be programmed to detect power surges and say “Ohh, that felt sooo goooood baby” but would it REALLY have felt it?

My daughter ownes a doll that, if bashed too hard, says “Ouch that hurts!”

Does the toy really “feel” anything?
You can argue that in a way yes, it’s detectors “felt” it, and that the process in humans is basically the same just a lot more complex, but I believe we are more than the sum of our physical parts. I am conscious, and the toy is not. I am self aware, the toy is not. When my body feels something I know that * I * REALLY feel it.

It’s a tricky subject… and these are just my personal thoughts.


Skynet if it decided not to nuke everyone, and went to community college instead.

Welcome Back Kotter

Kinda hard coming up with a excuse for not doing your homework if your an AI

Is the android programmed to daydream during lectures?

It’s hard for me to imagine an android bothering with a lecture at all.

James, what if it was programmed to take in a lecture? Could you imagine it then?

I’m not sure you could really call that “daydreaming during a lecture”, but yeah, if, IF, some idiot programmed a machine to sit in a lecture and mimic daydreaming, then it could sit in a lecture and mimic daydreaming.

Is it possible to mimic daydreaming?

Stupid is as stupid does. Perhaps the simulation of the act, getting lost in sub programs with it’s narrow width of attention, while keeping its etiquette conformity program going, precisely matches the definition of daydreaming? Its what we do.

People in 2004 have a lot of malformed questions. “Would an android daydream’ is a malformed question.” It lacks parameters.

If an android had the ability to daydream, it can daydream. If an android does not have the ability to daydream, it cannot daydream.

As a child I had malformed questions like these. I wondered if the edge of the universe was white space, or blackspace.
Well, since my mind registers photon energy as white, and the abscence of photons as blackspace, there is 99 percent probability that the edge of the universe is probably blackspace.

Androids CAN BE programmed to become anything that humans are other than organic. They need no mimic if so programmed. But why spend billions to build mechanical idiots?

James you could call it whatever you want.

Yeah, and you could NOT call it whatever you want.
:confused: :confusion-shrug:

The first androids will be expensive. Once the market takes off for them everybody will be buying them at space-mart. House keeping androids that can drive cars. Nissan will probably start selling android/car sets in fact. The robot would be able to interface with the vehicle directly and remotely.